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On Wednesdays, swing's the thing!

posted Jun 11, 2012, 1:10 PM by Steven Vaughan
Each Wednesday now through the end of July, the outdoor plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library's main branch transforms into a dance floor, where you can boogie to hot jazz as part of the library's free Plaza Swing Series.  Now in its third year, this series has  become a summertime favorite.  Each week, a swing dance lesson is given at 6:30 PM, with various bands featuring different styles of swing starting at 7:00 PM.

This Wednesday, June 13th, Dennis Lichtman's Braincloud brings Western swing.  Their infectious picking and inimitable vocals blend American southern roots music and old-time jazz.  On June 20th, the Katie Thiroux Quartet kicks into full swing.  Then on July 27th is the Swingtime Big Band – and by big, they mean a 20-piece band!  This group plays authentic recreations of the timeless swing of such renowned Big Band leaders as Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington. 

The series takes a week off to celebrate the 4th of July.  But on July 11th, you can holler, stomp and sing along with The Wiyos, a trio whose unique music captures the spirit of blues, ragtime, spirituals and Appalachian jug-band music.  Their eclectic sound features harmonica, washboard, kazoo, banjo and guitar!  Then on July 18th the Gregorio Uribe Big Band brings together musicians from around the world that create a masterpiece of Afro-Colombian rhythms with funk grooves and powerful big band arranging.  The series bids adieu until next summer on July 25th with Matt Munisteri, a virtuosic guitarist whose newest CD, Still Runnin' 'Round in the Wilderness, explores the music of the largely forgotten composer Willard Robison, who emerged in the 1920's as an early prototype of the American-Singer-Songwriter.

The library is located on Flatbush Avenue at Eastern Parkway in Park Slope.  In case of rain, concerts will be rescheduled for the following Thursday evening.  And for more information, call (718) 230-2100 or visit brooklynpubliclibrary.org.
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